Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Gee, You'd Almost Think Rape Were A Crime

Via Lawyers, Guns and Money:
A man's life has been sacrificed, and three children have been denied their father by malicious feminists who have lobbied for laws that punish spousal rape just like stranger rape and deny a man the right to cross-examine his accuser. They have created a judicial system where the woman must always be believed even though she has no evidence, one in which the man is always guilty.
Schlafly is entirely right. After all, we all know that murder is punished less severely when the husband murders his wife. Ergo, it is impossible for husbands to rape their wives. Or something.

Seriously, it took years for the courts and legislatures in the west even to acknowledge that spousal rape was illegal. Why would we try to roll that back?

I recently read an extremely frustrating book called Big Sister: How Extreme Feminism Has Betrayed the Fight. I normally wouldn't have picked up the book, except that the author (Neil Boyd) wrote a fascinating book previously called The Beast Within: Why Men Are Violent. The Beast Within was really excellent, exploring the number of biological, anatomical, and neurological factors that help explain why men are so much more violent than women - especially when you get to the level of criminal violence, where 90-95% of all violent crime is committed by men. This number is pretty constant across history and different countries, making social explanations tenuous.

Basically, Boyd argues that men are built for violence in ways that women aren't. This doesn't mean that women can't be violent, or even extremely violent in certain circumstances. Just that they don't have the predisposition towards violence that men - especially young men - do. The book really screwed with my head in a number of ways, most importantly the realization that, as a man under the age of 30, I'm in the single most important demographic for violent crime. My gender and age are a better statistical determinant of potential violence than almost anything else. It's pretty weird - I don't see myself as a violent person, but if statistics have any predictive value at all (ask the polling firm SES about that) then I have to face the fact that I'm a potentially dangerous person.

None of this means that I think I'm going to kill someone, or even get in to a fight. Certainly, Boyd doesn't argue a biologically-determinist view. All this is just by way of explaining why I picked up Big Sister, which was not nearly as good as his first book. While he raises some interesting points, there's a large, suppurating sore in the middle of his book. Throughout the book, he spends numerous pages defending young and not so young men who were accused of sexual harrasment, assault or rape. Most of these men were not charged in a criminal setting, but in administrative one. So they weren't given what we would normally consider the full benefit of law. I find this troubling, for sure.

But what do they all have in common? None of them - not one - asked for and received a clear statement of consent. Indeed, Boyd unfortunately hitches his wagon to the Ewanchuk case that went before the Supreme Court a few years back. In Ewanchuk, the accused man was found guilty of sexual assault for repeatedly forcing himself on a woman during a job interview, despite her three separate protests. The way this was spun by anti-feminists was that he "stopped after she said no". Which is only true if you ignore the first two times she said no. That's two counts of assault, not zero.

Leaving aside the specifics of any one case, how do you not ask for consent in this day and age? I mean, this is the smallest, least meaningful barrier to put between a man and sex, and some men seem to think it's a padlock and a snarling dog. It takes a second to ask the question. I haven't found it breaks the mood. And there's a more fundamental question - if you can't bother to ask, why should anyone believe you care what the answer is in the first place?

1 comment:

LeoPetr said...

An interesting account:
http://voicesandfaces.org/survivor_victoria.asp